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Javier A. Rodriguez "mobuli" (Los Angeles)

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The Perfect Pitch: How to Sell Yourself and Your Movie Idea to Hollywood
The Perfect Pitch: How to Sell Yourself and Your Movie Idea to Hollywood
by Ken Rotcop
Edition: Paperback
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Uninformative, July 4 2004
I'm not particularly religious. But this book inspired me to research all Gods, long buried or still alive, so I might beseech them to give me the two hours back that I decimated reading this book.
It might give you the inkling of the environment of the pitch, but otherwise the book doesn't help you develop, write, work on a physical or verbal pitch on any level worth taking to a meeting. I've seen professional writers (eg. working writers) talk about pitching, and what's offered here is, at best, passing opinions. That, linked with the constant dropping of the Rotcop's accomplishments like 'pitchmart', buries this book's credibility, and seals it with an iron lid.
Spend your money on one of the other books on pitching. Though I haven't read them, they have to be better. Or buy a book about storytelling. Or spend the money buying your friends coffee and pitch them to get practice. Or dig a hole and throw your money in that.

Creating Unforgettable Characters
Creating Unforgettable Characters
by Linda Seger
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.40
69 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great "How To" for new and experienced Writers, July 4 2004
"Creating Unforgettable Characters" succeeds in giving practical steps in the development of character. The book covers several disciplines like psychology, acting, backstory and relationships in an effort to refine and inform the way you approach your characters. For more experienced writers looking to drill down rewrites, the digestible 'get to the freakin' point' style of the book helps you get to what you need, instead of wasting your time lording over topics you don't give shlip about (oh God, if I could only take a minute of life away from every author who's wasted my time patting themselves on the back for their puddling observations... there'd be a lot of dead folks in LA).
Particularly useful are the summarizations and categorical exercises at the end of each chapter, helping you immediately implement the lesson into your writing. There are also frequent exercises throughout the book to help jog your mind in relation to your characters.
Seger gives special attention to minor, supporting and nonrealistic characters which populate every script, but are often neglected. Seger's not asking for every character to be the central figure of your narrative... but they better be the central figure of their own story in some way. The book helps in creating characters, small and large, that have a reason for being. It's easy to neglect lesser characters, when they should be poignant and relevant.
Thankfully, Seger has the 'How' mentality that is missing from so many other books on writing. If you are new to writing, this is an excellent resource for illuminating all the elements that go into making a fully fleshed out character. If you're an experienced writer and are looking for a way to make your characters 'pop' off the page a bit more, "Creating Unforgettable Characters" could help you find that edge.

Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay, Updated and Expanded edition
Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay, Updated and Expanded edition
by Andrew Horton
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 37.95
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Not without some merit, but tedious and uninspiring, May 23 2004
I've now read this book twice, hoping I missed the insight on moving a script toward a character driven progression. But what I have had to sadly conclude is Horton's book on the "Character centered screenplay" is more of a college dissertation than a book designed to help the writer develop a character piece.
That's not to say the book is completely useless. It has an interesting take on character paradigms, going into deeper than other books might. Horton's ideas on the multiple voices a character might represent can help open up perspectives on how to make a character more rounded without having to blather out more exposition to explain characters. Vogler, McKee (both who's books I highly recommend) don't spend this kind of focus on character dimension... but they weren't writing books solely on character.
Horton throws his arms out patting himself on the back with his pontification regarding 'carnivalesque'. The idea might have been interesting in a glancing pass, and attempt at expanding our perspective about characters and their many sides with the allusion towards changing masks and showing different sides of self, but it became an esoteric exercise in proving academic chops. Had it be posed and then left so we could delve more deeply into other topics, it wouldn't have been an issue. But carnivalesque was dropped front and center at indulgent intervals, ending up being distracting and fruitless, the exact opposite of what a book about writing should be about.
In the end, 'Character-Centered...' is a flat, uninspiring read. Horton is probably a cerebral person who has spend time dissecting and analyzing films, but little time focusing on the writer's journey of producing a good script. In my meandering through screenplay literature, it is rare to find someone giving you 'hows' instead of 'whats'. "Character Centered..." simply doesn't live up to it's name on the basis of a lack of desire to direct would-be writers to produce character driven material.

Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting
Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting
by Robert McKee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 35.24
56 used & new from CDN$ 18.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The encyclopedia of screenwriting, May 20 2004
I've taken screenwriting courses and seminars, been to a university for film and creative writing, and I can safely say McKee's book is the purest form of breaking down screenwriting I've ever read. From stem to stern, the book is a road map to developing your screenplay in a systematic, thorough and fleshed out manner, leaving no major stone unturned, revealing all the working parts. If you are a beginner or well rounded writer, there is plenty to be gained by McKee's perspective. Some of the material in here has been glanced or appropriated by other screenwriting books, but none do the in depth look like 'story' does.
'Story' can at time be a very mechanical read, simply because of the vast amounts of information he is delivering. The book is also (thankfully) not going to tell you where to find material to write about, or suggest what kind of material to develop. This book illuminates the conventions of screenwriting, so having a working knowledge of structure is a bonus in pushing you through the book. Regardless, the book can be inspiring and empowering, giving you insight into potential holes in your craft or literating concepts that are elusive.

Crafty Screenwriting: Writing Movies That Get Made
Crafty Screenwriting: Writing Movies That Get Made
by Alex Epstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.17
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.31

3.0 out of 5 stars At best, a book for beginners, March 14 2004
I stumbled upon a website article by Alex Epstein where he was about to reveal what was needed to create a winning script, and was intrigued. I bought his book to find his answer - hook. I eagerly read on...
Only to find the same old information given in other screenwriting books, and often uninspired information (if you need this book to tell you how/where to find subject matter to write about, then give up the screenwriting game now). Overall, if I didn't have a clue where to begin as a screenwriter, this book might be useful. But be forewarned, Epstein does a lot of telling you what you should do, and very little of how to do it.
To his credit, Epstein's cynical voice makes for an entertaining read. Also, his section regarding the decoding of development execs notes was interesting.
If you have experience writing screenplays on any level higher than 101 and are looking for the smallest edge to help your work get noticed in a crowded marketplace, then you might not get a lot out of this book. If you are looking for some basic ideas on how to shore up your new found passion of screenwriting and make it more presentable, then this book might be for you.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: A Novel
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: A Novel
by Michael Chabon
Edition: Paperback
101 used & new from CDN$ 0.58

2.0 out of 5 stars Could it have been the hype?, March 9 2003
Was recommended to read this book by several people, and i finally caved. Unfortunately.
It took a good 1/4 of the book to get going, and once it did, i thought i was about to embark on a very interesting voyage with these two young struggling artists, and their part in an exciting time within their business and their world. But it never went there. It peaked around the middle of the book, then took the same flat ride out that it came in with.
Chabon is an excellent word smith, and some of his passages and chapters were simply brilliant... but it was wrapped around characters who ultimately weren't that interesting in their souls, who didn't bring any insight to their place.
Overall, i found the experience to be dissapointing. People ask me if i liked it when they see it on my bookshelf. The worst thing i think i can say about a book is that i didn't like or dislike it, because it didn't resonate within me after i finished reading it.

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